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Ransomware steps

Ransomware – a type of malicious software described as an „online extortion racket‟- is reportedly making cyber-criminals millions.
The Business Crime Reduction Centre is predicting that ‘ransomware’ will continue to rise in 2013 becoming more sophisticated, better targeted and lucrative. Once it has infiltrated a personal computer or a network, ransomware will lock or disable the system and demand payments in the form of a ‘fine’ to make the system usable again.

Like most scams, the ransomware message claims to be from a legitimate organisation, such as the police. The message accuses victims of an illegal act such as accessing child pornography or downloading illegal software and issues a fine before the computer can be unblocked.
A typical ransomware message may include the words ‘Your PC is blocked due to the illegal viewing or distribution of copyrighted content. To unblock the computer, you must pay a fine of £100’. However paying the fine does not solve the problem as the malware remains on the PC and must be removed manually.

David Ransom, Director of the Sheffield-based Business Crime Reduction Centre said: “Ransomware victims become infected by selecting malicious links in emails, opening messages sent via social media sites or by visiting compromised websites. The only way to tackle this type of malware is through prevention. Once it is on a system the victim will probably require expert help.”

There are a few steps which will help businesses and individuals protect themselves from becoming a victim of ransomware:
– Ensure all updates including Microsoft Windows, anti-virus software and spam filters have been installed
– Ensure that the firewall is fully enabled and configured
– Avoid visiting unknown or questionable websites and selecting suspicious links in emails
– Be aware of social media sites as these are regularly used to transmit and spread ransomware and other forms of malware.

The Business Crime Reduction Centre is delivered with Yorkshire-based charity, People United Against Crime and South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Humberside Police forces. The Business Crime Reduction Centre is part financed by the European Union through the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007-2013.
For more information – visit:

About People United Against Crime

People United Against Crime was founded in 1996 by South Yorkshire Police. It is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. The organisation works mainly in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Visit


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